Jury finds Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer not guilty
The state Attorney General's Office had charged Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer with false reporting and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant. On Wednesday, a jury acquitted him on both counts.
“Part of upholding the rule of law is respecting the decision of a jury,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “I appreciate the jury’s service, and thank my team for their hard work.”
Troyer testified during the trial that he never lied about his late-night encounter with a Black newspaper carrier, Sedrick Altheimer.
The encounter took place Jan. 27, 2021. After following Altheimer on his paper route, Troyer called an emergency line and claimed Altheimer "threatened to kill me.” Dozens of officers headed to the scene in response to the call.
Prosecutors said Troyer weaponized the police against Altheimer because Troyer felt disrespected.
Troyer’s defense lawyer called it a wrongful prosecution and said Altheimer was motivated by his own civil lawsuit.
The trial lasted more than two weeks. The jury returned its verdict after deliberating for about seven hours Wednesday.